Vehicle Crashworthiness

Vehicle crashworthiness refers to the ability of a vehicle to provide protection to passengers in the event of an accident.  For this purpose, modern vehicles are equipped with many safety features including headrests, glazed glass, seatbelts, airbags and crumple zones, all designed and manufactured to absorb impact to minimize injuries, prevent ejection from the vehicle and reduce the risk of fire.  Liability lawsuits regarding crashworthiness result from the failure of a vehicle manufacturer to incorporate known safety features or the failure of included safety features to function correctly, resulting in injury or death to passengers.

Common subjects of crashworthiness lawsuits include:

  • Roof crush/failure
  • Seatbelt failure
  • Seatback collapse/failure
  • Vehicular fires
  • Door latch defects
  • Ejection through glass
  • Child seat defects
  • Airbag failure
  • Tire separation

When a vehicle part is found to be defective, usually after it has caused serious injury or death to consumers, it is often recalled.  In 2002, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed an investigative procedure for initiating auto defect recalls. NHTSA categorized products into four groups that are each responsible for different aspects of vehicle safety:

  1. The structural integrity of the car’s body
  2. The presence of occupant friendly surfaces in the passenger compartments
  3. The ability of the vehicle to safely restrain passengers
  4. Fuel system integrity

Safety requires excellent design and extensive testing by the automobile manufacturer.  However, given the high prices charged for automobiles and the catastrophic results of safety failures, vehicle manufacturers should be required to adhere to the highest of standards.  At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we have the experience and knowledge to hold the responsible parties liable in the event of such a failure.

HO&P files lawsuits on behalf of drivers and passengers

If an automobile accident occurred and you or someone you love was injured or killed, possibly due to a defective part not performing its safety function, then attorneys with the best credentials and ability are essential.

Contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights and options. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form on this page.